In 1741, Thomas Cookson, deputy surveyor
for Lancaster County, surveyed a parcel of land at the
intersection of the Monocacy Trail and the Codorus Creek. His
goal: to lay out a town in grid formation, similar to
Philadelphia. The town was to become York, named for Yorkshire,
England. By the end of the year, 23 lots had been assigned. One
of the first buildings to be erected was the Golden Plough
Tavern, which is still standing over 260 years later.
In the surrounding frontier, German, Scotch-Irish, and Quaker
settlers had already found the land suitable enough to call
Eight years later, York County was born, created out of
Lancaster County in August 1749. It was the fifth county in
Pennsylvania, and the first west of the Susquehanna River. In
the town of York, 63 log houses and two churches were now
In the intervening years between Yorks humble beginnings
and its present-day status as a leader in agriculture and
industry, the York area has been witness to many major events of
national historical significance and industrial development.
Our storied history features major roles in the Revolutionary
and Civil Wars, in the conception and development of products
that improved life and transportation for Americans throughout
the years, and in the manufacture of many items you know
some you may even have in your home or office.
Click on the links below to learn more.
York County History: The American Revolution
York County History: The Civil War
York County: The History of Industry
York County History: Timeline
The Renaissance of York City
The Murals of York
The Historical Markers of York County
National Register Listings of York County Properties